There is a new movement afoot in Paris. Young chefs have turned their backs on stuffiness and are creating an experience that is more fun and a lot less formal. In tiny independent bistros mostly on the outskirts of the city, they are turning out fantastically inventive food that bypasses many of the old sauces and relies instead on the vibrancy of responsibly sourced ingredients. Because they are working in tiny kitchens with little or no staff, advance preparation is esteemed. (Good news for the home cook looking to crib kitchen notes.) Among their tricks (which could fit easily into anyone’s repertoire) are finding inspired uses for humble root vegetables like rutabaga and parsnips, presenting a vegetable raw and cooked in the same dish, and revitalizing the classic crumble for dessert.
From L’Ami Jean’s chef Stéphane Jégo comes the soulful but unexpected Winter Squash Soup, accented with a cocoa whipped cream. Haricots Verts Salad with Strawberries and Feta is a charmer from Atsumi Sota at Clown Bar. And there is the showstopping Cherry and Beet Pavlova from Sean Kelly. The more than one hundred dishes in Bistronomy prove that these Paris bistros have become the idea factories of the culinary world.
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